Summer is FINALLY here!! That’s right, ladies and gents, the Pacific Northwest finally has consistent sunshine! With the change of the weather, comes the change of the taste buds. I trade my warming winter ratatouille and warming cast-iron portions of delicious steaming cassoulet for the lighter summer fare like the Cilantro Lime Chicken & Baked Potato Skins I made for dinner TWO nights in a row (yes, they are THAT good and SO simple).
A few of my other “go to” summer meals are:
Hawaiian Poke & Ginger Ono Sashimi
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken & Asparagus
Healthy Chicken Veggie Spring Rolls with Garlic Ginger Dipping Sauce
This year I needed a new salad, something that was out of my normal cooking pallet. I’ve had different variations of this type of salad (Fez on Wheels Turkish Shepherd Salad, and Tom Douglas’ Home Remedy Jackie’s Greek Salad are two of my favorites) and decided it was time to make it myself.
Of course, after I used the “wing it” approach I realized that looking for a recipe could have been smart idea. Psh, who needs a recipe when you have a photo of the ingredients and taste testing! Next time I WONT forget the mint or the fresh lemon juice. The Epicruious version called for scallions instead of the red pepper and the Simply Recipes version called for 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano. There is also a more italian style version that A Taste of Home posted with mozzarella that I’ll be trying next week! Whatever the variations you use, it’s even better than next day once the flavors marinate together for a while. Also makes a great potluck or BBQ side!
Do you have any special additions or variations of this delicious dish? Next time I’m thinking I’ll add some quinoa!
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded
cherry tomatoes (to taste), washed and halved
1/2 c chopped fresh mint, Chiffonade
7 oz fresh sheep feta, crumbled
1 cup pitted halved Kalamata olives
To make the dressing, mix the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, cracked pepper and drizzle of EVOO to a small bowl and whisk together then set aside. If you have a jar, you can also just add the ingredients and shake the living heck out of the ingredients to mix. Wash and half the cucumbers, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center then slice and place in a medium bowl. Add olives. Wash and half the tomatoes and add them to the cucumber bowl. Rinse and pat the mint dry, then Chiffonade it. That’s a fancy little french term for stacking herb leaves on top of each other than tightly rolling them and cutting horizontally to produce long thin strips. Add the dressing to the cucumber bowl and toss lightly, sprinkling in the feta and tossing all the goodness together. Serve as a main with some humus and pita bread, or as a delicious side!